That same dream again...I woke up drenched in sweat. The bed sheet was all tangled as I had writhed around in it. I struggled to regain some control over my pounding heart as I slipped out of bed to go to the balcony. Boston was another scene entirely at night. Shadows slipped eerily in and out of streets. Silence screamed in the air . My mind drifted back five years...reliving the dream I’d just been having...
“Go away. Get outta here!”, I screamed at my sister as I flung the door shut. They said I’d be a beauty queen when I grew up what with my blonde hair and green eyes. But that didn’t mean anything to my sister. Hilly was a prodigy and she did everything to “help” me improve my grades. Unable to teach me, she pounded on my door. Ignoring her, I went to my window. Dad was backing out his black Mercedes; being the director of the FBI had its perks I guess. Seeing him leave, I sauntered over to my bed and flopped down. The pounding on my door had stopped- for now. My eyelids were starting to feel rather heavy...I drifted off to sleep...
I felt ravenously hungry when I woke up. My watch told me it was 12 noon. All was quiet when I stepped out of my room. Hilly was probably holed up in her room studying, mom was probably in office-and dad was never home before midnight. I made my way into the kitchen when I saw Him...I remember every detail of those five frantic that dictated and still is dictating the remainder of my life. He was black toothed when he smiled at me...
“Your daddy got me into a lotta trouble a few years back...its time I got revenge.”,
I flattened myself against the cabinet, my heart thumping and whimpered, “Please don’t hurt me...my daddy's in the FBI”,tears started to flow down my cheeks.
“Oh I know all about daddy,trust me on that...
Sent me to prison ten years ago...So what I dealt drugs, huh? Half the men in the FBI itself used to be my regular customers...”, he was ranting now, The phone was on the other side of the house, I knew I couldn’t out run him to it.
He was smiling now, “...but now I'm out,I want revenge. Its fair exchange.”
And then He brought out the knife...I didn’t know I could produce such a blood curling scream...but I'd realized my blunder. “Please Hilly, stay in your room, don’t come out...” My heart sank as I heard thundering footsteps down the stairs and Hilly's voice came into the kitchen, “Whats wrong Rachel, you OK?”
He looked pleased , “Aha! Join the party!” he exclaimed as Hilly rushed in.
“Whose going first then?”, he asked, brandishing his knife. He fixed his stare on me, “You win,you’re first.”
But before he moved,I felt a breeze on my cheek as my sister rushed to my aid.
“Hilly, NO!”, I screamed, flailing my arms to hold her back, but I was too late. She ran at him with nothing but her incredible courage. He just grinned at her. The knife gleamed as it cut through the air. I tore at my hair as a red stain appeared at the back of her shirt. The rest is a blur. All I remember is me screaming and rushing to Hilly. And pain. A lot of pain. I also remember her blue eyes, usually determined filled with resignation. For the last time, she'd given up.
I woke up at a hospital later on. I came to know that the neighbors had heard the noise and called the police, but they couldn’t get over fast enough because of a traffic stuck up. When my mum came to visit me after having looked after Hilly's body, she held my hand real slow and walked me to the mirror. I looked a horror. My hair hung in tatters where I'd pulled at it. But my face was unrecognizable.
I was sewn up in at least ten different places on my face...the scars, I knew they wouldn't fade. I'd be reminded of them every morning when I looked into the mirror and be reminded of Hilly's sacrifice. Of how she'd put herself in front of me.
The funeral went alright. It was kind of a blur. There were a lot of people offering consolation to my parents. I just stared at her grave. That night, I stared at the thin lines curving all around my palms. I tore them open just to feel the pain...I realized that without my one identity – beauty – I was nothing. And Hilly, she'd treat me the same way regardless of how I looked even now, when my mother avoided looking at me .
I started as I came back to the present. Five years on, the scars haven’t faded, but I like them now. They remind me that the past is real. But I've realized something else now. Everyone seems to think Hilly's back in that grave. She's not. She's in me. She's there every time I look in the mirror, she's there every time I’m stared at in the super market. Hilly isn’t in a grave, she breathes in Boston, she breathes with me wherever I go. And my scars remind me of that...